Changes in the landscape of holiday rental agencies in Mauritius


This year has been a -and still is going to be a very challenging year for many holiday rental agencies in Mauritius. When I speak of holiday rental agencies in general, I mean those that act as an intermediary in proposing beach villas and apartments on their websites usually holding a tour operators licence obtained by the Mauritius Tourism Authority. There is a difference to the tasks performed by property managers who do maintenance work on site, receive clients and have exclusivity in re-marketing those units through a network of agencies with whom they collaborate. Some of these market their offers through my Isla-Mauricia holiday rentals agency websites.

To run a holiday rental agency in Mauritius means you are operating in an ever growing competitive market. The more costs you have, the bigger your team is, the more hard you will be hit once the low season strikes and if your bookings start becoming less and less. A situation I had to face myself since last November 2013. I experienced a sudden decline in bookings. November, usually one of my best months performed very badly and this trend remained on going till May. June and July have been satisfactory and I’m currently observing the month of August there are still 15 days to go and I hope for this month to end stable which could be a sign for recovery and the year ending positively. Though I speak for my own situation, it could be completely different for others.

Changes in the landscape of holiday rental agencies in Mauritius

Changes in the landscape of holiday rental agencies in Mauritius

I faced for the first time in my life this year the challenge of laying off my team that had grown to be like a family. This could make for another blog post in the context of challenges an entrepreneur faces and how to lay off and say good bye – its over!
There are various theories, scenarios that you can study, or try to put into practice but reality often has its surprises taking you off guard and handing you a slap! A slap to wake up or a slap to make you cry. When money talks, it can get “brutal”. Deal with banks and you will see, there is no love, no heart, no passion – just the figures that matter – the rest is just acting to get your business. From smile to the dagger into your back. This wasn’t my case but this is what you could face when laying off since its a very sensitive issue.
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Yifat Cohen & Jason T. Wiser Google+ Strategies – How to master hashtags and decipher authority signals


Yesterday night I spent a while watching those two recorded hangout on air (HoA) sessions of Jason T. Wiser and Yifat Cohen. I decided to give it a night and let it sink in and reflect before I make my personal article of what spoke to me the most from their presentation. I must also add that sometimes watching various HoA relating to the subject of social media and marketing that some terms take a while to sink in. While David Amerland has mentioned so often in his presentations the term instant gratification – it’s only now after hearing it again and trying to access some links that this made a tick realising that yes indeed this is what I or we have turned into. We want things now, and with the least clicks possible.

Yifat Cohen - Jaston T.  Wiser - Get On Track Stay On Track - More Yifat Cohen G+ Tips, Tricks, and Strategies for Your Small Business

Yifat Cohen – Jaston T. Wiser – Get On Track Stay On Track – More Yifat Cohen G+ Tips, Tricks, and Strategies for Your Small Business

I have been on many websites in the past, and you know those long pages which tell you stories over stories where at the end in order to get what you want you must pay to get the answer. When I see opt in offers on websites, it’s usually what I expect – a smart content scheme to entice me to give my credentials in order to get something for free where halfway through I must then pay. Meaning this has led me to doubt opt in pages. That’s why; the LEAST I have to click away from a network, the more I prefer it. This is what is so great about hangouts on Google+ you do get professional information for free. It is a different form of University where you make up your own studies, get access to experts, get to ask them questions. On top its fun!

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Digital Shopping Tool Impact Study – how to improve your tools performance?


Purchase decisions – How and why people shop and buy

What are digital shopping tools was the first question I had when I saw the interview title of Jason T. Wiser Google+ hangout on air. This question gets answered by Kim Finnerty in more details in their discussion round that you should watch if you are running a business online. At first I thought it is some sort of analytics tool or stats. Actually it can be anything from a search engine to a mobile payment program.

Digital Shopping Tool Impact Study

Digital Shopping Tool Impact Study by #OnTrackTips

Whenever I watch any of these interviews I’m on the lookout for the jewel information which I can put into practice for my own Mauritius Holiday Rentals business for my agency Isla-Mauricia. What spoke out to me the most is the topic regarding reviews and you will note that my transcript which is a break up of their discussion below also mentions that reviews generate very high conversion rates. Even though this video dates back to the year 2013 you will see in this Google+ post which I have reshared recently from Jason T. Wiser which dates back to the 4th of August where he gives a good advice about linking to your Google+ reviews.

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Mauritius Charcuterie Fresh or Frozen Meat Products supplier of 5 Star hotels De Lapeyre Ltd.


Whether its pickled specialities, a smoked chicken or roasted ham – De Lapeyre Ltd. is your partner of choice for your local charcuterie meat products in Mauritius.

Charcuterie Mauritius De Lapeyre Ltd.

Charcuterie Mauritius De Lapeyre Ltd.

They have their own savoir faire, authentic recipes and traditional techniques practised since over 30 years.
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What costs to expect when starting your own holiday rentals agency or tour operator services in Mauritius?


In my first article in my blog I wrote in depth about “What are the future outlooks of agencies in the holiday home rentals industry of Mauritius?” My article is quite long and covers in a whole how to get started and what challenges you will face. I also address my own pessimistic view of the industry and if you are considering to get started you should read that. What I didn’t address in my previous article are the costs that you will encounter.

Costs of running a vacation rentals business in Mauritius

Costs of running a vacation rentals business in Mauritius

In this article I will give an approximate overview of costs that you will have to face if you wish to launch professionally your own company that offers vacation rentals and other tourism related services. When I got started I didn’t know which costs to expect. I hope this article will help you in your planning and also to get a clear overview if your idea is realistic to get started in this industry.
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Bund wall at Fort George and Fort William close to the Sugar Bulk Terminal, Mauritius


I saw this from the slope of Le Pouce mountain during a hike and wonder – what is that!?

When you climb up Le Pouce mountain till the peak you will be able to see that there is a big square outline in the ocean close to the sugar bulk terminal of Port-Louis harbor at a size of around 35 hectares (to be filled). Does that not make you curious to ask – what is that empty outline!? …because it looks like its going to be filled up!

It is a bund wall at Fort George and Fort William to hold materials such as sand resulting from dredging to deepen existing container terminals so giant container ships carrying more than 8 000 to 9,000 TEUs can come to Port-Louis harbor, it’s also in line of the modernisation of the harbor to remain competitive. Else those ships cannot stop by Mauritius to do business.

I have wondered what it is and there isn’t much information about it out there. According to some articles posted last year the outline that is the bund wall should have reached completion stage by now and it does look they are on time. (I’m assuming from the looks of it!).

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Christopher Ahlberg: I Know What You’ll Do Next Summer – Pioneers Festival 2013


Recorded Future is a web intelligence software platform that helps companies anticipate threats and capitalize on opportunities.

A fascinating software and start up company that can come to conclusions with the analysis of the large amount of data which is openly available on the world wide web. It does make one curious how a company can tap and harness into such information and come up with various results. Looking into the potential of what the future in a certain spectrum might be holding.

In this video Milo Yiannopoulos from The Kernel at Pioneer interviews Christopher Ahlberg founder of Recorded Future in a short compact 21 minutes session.

If you like subjects such as Big Data, Web Intelligence and organisation of data, analysis and giving it structure – before diving into the video you can have an idea what Recorded Future does here → https://www.recordedfuture.com/web-intelligence/

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Hiking North East Mauritius – Roches Noires Caves, Bras d’eau forest till Poste Lafayette beach – Pat Loisirs


Level 1 hike. Not tough, easy go for amateurs.
Track we did was around 10Km.

We started at the village of Rivière du Rempart — Old Railway Track — Caves of Roches Noires — Mauritius Radio Telescope — Mango Orchard — Bras D’eau Visitor’s Centre — Bras D’eau Trail — and ended at Poste La Fayette beach.

Climbing through the caves of Mauritius left by volcanic activity is like witnessing the foundation and construction of Mauritius. It does look a bit like concrete bays without the proper lighting.

Mauritius Roches Noires caves - photo by Annika Schöbe

Mauritius Roches Noires caves – photo by Annika Schöbe

We start the day from Grand Baie and meet up with the hikers group of the club Pat Loisirs in the centre of Riviere du Rempart. On a Sunday morning it is quite busy there. If you are looking for a parking, town centre might not be ideal – you might also consider parking a bit more before at the town entrance if coming from Roches Noires. Our meeting point is set at the Shell filling station. The road that will be our starting point also goes past by that filling station. We parked the car a bit more further away just before that narrow bridge which you can cross and that leads directly to the caves. The people there are friendly and we asked them if we can park close to their property which they approved.

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What does Constat à l’amiable mean? Driving and Accidents in Mauritius


When it comes to driving in Mauritius, various informations, laws, theories and facts seem to come gradually over the years as you gain more and more experience. Whether you just got your driving licence, or moved to Mauritius you will definitely have some questions to what you must abide to when you drive here and some questions will pop up when its hopefully not to late! In this article I will address what is a “Constat à l’amiable” (something I was pondering upon and about which I posted here on Google+) and a few other points on which I will extend with an introduction of some general information that is good to know of!

Constat a lamiable in Mauritius

Constat a lamiable in Mauritius

Like any other country, Mauritius has a set of laws to which car drivers must abide and respect. Even if the island appears exotic and a bit laid back, there is no leniency when it comes to rules and they will be applied and not looked over. You should definitely NOT try to bribe a policeman!
Therefore car drivers that do not respect the law are not acts for you to imitate or follow. I’m mentioning this for the case that if you are new to Mauritius and think you need to follow a certain driving style – just be careful! Yes, many drivers will still overtake a bus even though there is a white line for example. It doesn’t mean you should do that…
Stick to the rules. Sooner or later they will get caught and pay heavy fines. Speeding alone can cost you around Rs.2000. Considering that its only a small moment of excess speed pressing on the accelerator – those fines can definitely hurt your monthly budget and you will receive demerit points!
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How to suck it up to get an influencers attention – but why would you do that?


Yesterday night I watched this recorded Google+ hangout on air (abbreviation: HoA) #TNTBootcamp – Influence Marketing Techniques & David Amerland which was hosted by Ronnie Bincer & Christine DeGRaff who run the Hangout Helper series who had as their guest speaker David Amerland. I have named the title of this post according to what was mentioned in the video and made reference to Martin Shevington – this mentioning made the biggest impact on me because it was so straightforward and quite clear that this is a challenging scenario many new comers look up to. …Because its now possible on Google+ network like it has never been before!

It’s been a while that I haven’t watched any HoAs with David Amerland and I truly missed them for a while so I decided to catch up again yesterday.
When it comes to the topics of semantics, connections and the future of search this is one of my favourite resource and influencer to get study material from. David has recently published a new book called Google+ Hangouts for Business: How to use Google+ Hangouts to Improve Brand Impact, Build Business and Communicate in Real-Time. I haven’t read it yet but you can also check what I posted about his previous book which also fits in very well in relationship to this video and topic: How I was influenced via a Google+ Hangout Video to make a purchase

Google plus Hangouts for Business

Google plus Hangouts for Business

The presentations of David Amerland are information laden meaning his material is worth several reviews at times. By reviews I mean to re-watch his presentations several times.
I believe that the logic behind semantic search is not only Google related but albeit the future of search itself. It might also be good to have several search engines for a better eco system and avoiding a monopole. If one search engine desires to become an answering machine, we users might still not necessarily at times require an answer but just plain results to choose form and create our own answer. Maybe the search giant will provide various options – they are smart, they will want to keep you glued to their system.
The market out there doesn’t belong to just one company -changes can occur, nowadays even faster than you would expect! Who knows someday a new search giant might surface! Maybe there is a search company out there that will master semantics at a point no one has ever seen and create a new wave of people switching their well known tools in accepting a new one. You remember the days when Google suddenly surfaced with just a simply entry field and search button? Maybe privacy, control and surveillance will freak out nations to adopt a new data supplier…

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Starting your website or blog with WordPress as CMS


I recently watch a recorded Google+ hangout called Working With WordPress invited by Kristin Drysdale a friend whom I got to know on Google+ and who keeps me in the loop of great events on Google+. This is also what makes the network so special, the new people that you get to know and connect with on Google+

The informative presentation was hosted by Craig Chamberlin (whose Google+ profile has a stunning +128 Million views!) who chatted with Robert Ryan on the theme regarding working with WordPress. I took some notes of their discussions and Google+ always proves to be a great resource when it comes learning new techniques, tricks and tips from the pros. I still consider a one hour show worth it if even you learned something new that was revealed to you by something you didn’t know of but which took only maybe a minute.

Wordpress as CMS

WordPress as CMS

On a whole I would say that this video is not a starting guide for beginners (but good for beginners to have a look at and re-watch 6 months later if you are starting your blog now!) who have no basic knowledge at all of how to install a website with WordPress. It does tackle a few definitions such as “What is WordPress” which I have covered below but the remaining shared discussion is good food for someone that has already used WordPress for a while and gives insights about various marketing techniques and a bunch of mistakes we all tend to do that should be avoided such as excessive tags and connecting a post with to many categories leading to duplicate content. Yet alone have I been doing quite a few mistakes for years on Google+ when it comes to sharing my posts to the right circles – one to often might assume to be doing the right thing but is actually doing it wrong. Learning and listening to other experts in the industry can be such an eye opener for improving what you do.

Their discussion gave me some inspiration to also write about my experience regarding WordPress.

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The Power of Brand Evangelism with Guy Kawasaki hosted by Jason T. Wiser


In this recorded Google+ hangout Jason T. Wiser interviews Guy Kawasaki (His Google+ has a stunning count of more than 370 Million views!) and Peg Fitzpatrick. In a simple way you can get to know what differentiates a brand evangelist from a sales person and various other attributes about a brand evangelist. As currently I was looking for material on the theme of branding this interview came in very handy. I have came across the blog of Guy Kawasaki several years ago where he offered various free downloads of his presentations. What I really liked in this recorded Google+ hangout was this part when he mentioned: “Evangelism can be used for various things but you also need to believe in what you are selling. To position helping people achieve security, peace of mind, satisfaction – its more about these soft goals. It’s not just about making a buck! Within this parameter you can apply evangelism. But evangelism isn’t the only way.” This is the very same essence of what he also used to say many back years then which impressed me and also gave my perception on entrepreneurship a complete different view and also a big lesson!

Unlock The Power Of Brand Evangelism

Unlock The Power Of Brand Evangelism

In this recorded Google+ hangout Guy Kawasaki also speaks of Canva for which he is now an evangelist. I have made notes of the interview from which many of you can learn. The link to the recorded Google+ hangout of On Track Tipps by Jason T. Wiser.

In a sum up, you need to have an awesome product that you love! If you have a crappy product you will have a tough time evangelising people about it! I also like the tipps Guy Kawasaki gave about recruiting. Is the person you are recruiting infected by your product? Check out for more below.

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Ubuntu 32-bit or 64-bit, Should I upgrade? Which iso version should I download?


Ubuntu releases each april and october a new stable release. It is numbered by the year and month in this format for let’s take 2013: 13.04 and 13.10. And for 2014 the newest release is 14.04. When a release is labelled LTS it stands for Long Term Support. Support refers to that Ubuntu releases bug fixes that you can update your system with, not free technical support.

Ubuntu 14.04 Terminal-32bit or 64-bit CPU with lscpu

Ubuntu 14.04 Terminal-32bit or 64-bit CPU with lscpu

When Ubuntu 14.04 was released I had a series of questions which you might also have when considering an update or installing Ubuntu from scratch.
+Do I have a 32-bit or 64-bit processor?
+Which Ubuntu version should I download?
+Which Ubuntu version do I have am I running on my PC?
+Can I upgrade from a 32-bit install directly to a 64-bit version?
+Can I Install Amd64 Ubuntu On My Intel 64-bit Machine?
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ERP Made in Mauritius by ProximaSoft and how my interest was sparked!


I like ERP, Data Centres, web hosting, servers, ubuntu linux, CRMS, especially when its related to and from Mauritius. Therefore when I’m contacted by a software company in Mauritius, its like waking up a very curious sleeping data crawler…

What is ERP!?
ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. ERP is usually composed of various software modules with which you can manage various internal processes of a company.
With ERP you can optimise how your company is run, become efficient, save money and increase performance. Developing your own ERP or custom made FROM SCRATCH with some programmers that you appoint can in many situations be overkill meaning such projects can tend to be huge, be very costly and end up in catastrophies if some bugs cannot be fixed after some years and you become very dependant on the initial programmers that developed your software.
In many cases it is more wise to use, implement and adapt software already made by EXPERTS in this area. Companies in Mauritius need ERP and even better if a local software company like ProximaSoft can supply such software as they will understand way more better the needs of the local market and offer optimum solutions. This is where ProximaSoft can assist you.

ERP Made in Mauritius by ProximaSoft - Solis ERP © Proximasoft.com

ERP Made in Mauritius by ProximaSoft – Solis ERP © Proximasoft.com

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How to reduce your IT Computer purchase office expenses in Mauritius


Whether you are going to purchase a computer for private use, several computers for your business there are ways how you can reduce the price that you pay for your PCs.

Small businesses in Mauritius, whether you are starting off or already running, computer equipment can be a costly investment. I will outline here a way that worked for me greatly in reducing my costs and on top also improving my work experience!

Use Ubuntu to save costs on your computer equipment

Use Ubuntu to save costs on your computer equipment

When I started my first company Isla-Mauricia I purchased mainly second hand computers but unfortunately their life time was also very low. If you are going to buy second hand computers try to get those that have only been used less than a year. I still have one second hand PC that I bought that I managed to get from a company closure. This PC is still running now after 4 years.
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Which Villa in Mauritius is the real GEM of them all?


While checking my emails today at work I noticed one particular message that was written to me by an owner with whom I collaborate who was addressing to me that she was disappointed of not seeing her villa listed amongst my list of favourite villas in Mauritius. Considering that my blog is only nearly 2 weeks old I was particularly positively touched by her message. Engagement and communication is everything. Having direct feedback of a partner who follows up on what you do and reads your publication and on top gives you feedback is a very nice form of encouragement. This is even exemplary! Owners, property managers and marketing agencies need to work hand in hand.

Mauritius Lilot Villa - view from above - © Renaud Vandermeeren and L'ilot

Mauritius Lilot Villa – view from above – © Renaud Vandermeeren and L’ilot

Mauritius Lilot Villa - close up of the villa - © Renaud Vandermeeren and L'ilot

Mauritius Lilot Villa – close up of the villa – © Renaud Vandermeeren and L’ilot

We are humans and what we publish on the world wide web is intended for YOU to be read – NO we don’t write texts for search engines to spider. So, a feedback means more than just the clicking of a like button. Therefore I gave her message the special attention that it deserves. The villa in question is Villa L’ilot and she is absolutely right, how could I have missed out her villa on my favourite listing page. Instead of just posting a photo and a short intro I decided to blog a whole post of her villa and also addressing a bit the villa theme.
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Sunday in Mauritius at Port-Louis, Citadelle, Flic en Flac, Black River Gorges National Park, Le Morne, Chamarel, Plaine Champagne, Grand Bassin and Curepipe


A sightseeing itinerary with visiting guests from abroad
On Sunday the 13th of April I organised an itinerary with a buddy for two visiting guests from Germany. Quite often when the week end approaches and you have guests from abroad staying at your place you really wonder where you can take them. If you just hit the road without planning you might end up just doing a road trip without a clue where to stop or where to go. This happened to me once where I had a German guest. I just drove south, we had a look at a beach and drove back. So the main thing was only being seated in the car and me driving. Obviously this has its appeal to but it’s better to have a plan!

So for this Sunday I organised the following itinerary
+ Drive to Port-Louis, visit Citadelle to have a panoramic view of Port-Louis and eat some bread and chicken tikka at Pakistan Hotel. It’s actually a snack and not a hotel but called like that and very popular in Mauritius!
+ Head on to West Coast, have a swim at Flic en Flac and drive on to the Gorges National Park where we will have a walk and eat our food.
+ Move on to Le Morne, see the beach and spend sometime there.
+ Drive back home through Grand Bassin, along the way pluck some guavas (Goyave de Chine).

Citadelle also known as Fort Adelaide
Citadelle is a fort located on a hill in the centre of Port-Louis. It offers a stunning panoramic view over the capital city of Mauritius and a great place to take photos. The fort itself is very impressive. It has been built by huge basalt rocks which are very heavy and large. One only wonders how much effort this must have gone in there to build it! The construction time was around 6 years long, from 1834-1840 built by the British to fortify the harbour after they had taken the island from the French.

Mauritius - Citadelle - Fort Adelaide - Port-Louis

Mauritius – Citadelle – Fort Adelaide – Port-Louis

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Roads in Mauritius – The Terre Rouge – Verdun – Trianon / Phoenix Link Road


If you remember the eighties what the roads were like back then, Mauritius has made a huge improvement on its road infrastructure within those last 30 years. I still remember that basically nearly every road except the highway had potholes everywhere. A car ride was always bumpy. The quality of the road surface was really terrible back then.

Highway road to Mauritius Airport 2004

Highway road to Mauritius Airport 2004

One could argue that in 30 years more could have been done but if you are realistic Mauritius is not a country that has its own resources, therefore not a very rich economy to just spend heavily mainly on road infrastructure only and relies on creation of wealth through other means. The economy also was different back then meaning there were also other issues of priority. The foundations of the past lead to the realisation of visions that can nowadays be accomplished.

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Holiday home rental agencies future in Mauritius?


What are the future outlooks of agencies in the holiday home rentals industry of Mauritius?

In the perspective of a tour operator who acts as a reseller, working with property managers and owners of such vacation rentals earning a return on short term rentals from tourists. A personal view of the current and possible future outlooks for agencies and sharing from an insider perspective what are the barriers and with a dose of a rather pessimistic frame of mind!

Holiday home rental agencies future in Mauritius

Holiday home rental agencies future in Mauritius

I have been involved with the Mauritius vacation rental tourism industry for more than 10 years now. I have also collaborated with various hotels for the last 8 years. Today, I want to write and look at the vacation rentals industry from various perspectives if there is still a future for agencies in this sector or if it looks rather gloomy. Many traditional offline travel agencies have been hit by the internet; will there be a next wave of clean up where many small online agencies will also be put under the carpet leaving only the big players to stand?

Things to ponder upon and I hope my colleagues in this industry will read this article and deeply reflect on their own future.

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